A member of the nightshade family along with aubergines, peppers and chillies, tomatoes are in fact a fruit, but their affinity for other savoury ingredients means that they are usually classed as a vegetable. Tomatoes have fleshy internal segments filled with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery matrix. They can be red, yellow, orange, green, purple, or brown in colour.
Chilling tomatoes mutes their flavour so, unless they are very ripe, they should be stored at room temperature. If you won’t be eating ripe tomatoes for a couple of days, put them in the fridge in a perforated bag, but take them out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating, so that they can warm up.
Tomatoes are a versatile food and can be used in a great many recipes. Even unripe green tomatoes are delicious when cooked. Eat them raw after washing and removing the stem end. There is no need to peel unless stated in the recipe, but if required simply dip us in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until our skin splits, or peel us with a small sharp knife from stem end down. Use tomatoes raw in salads, juice, sandwiches. Bake, stew, pan-fry, barbecue, microwave, stuff, puree and serve as a vegetable, in sauces, soups, pizza, omelettes, casseroles, with meat, chicken and fish and even in cakes.